Great Finds: Lower Automation – 'Tethered'

24 June 2018 | 3:14 pm | Alex Sievers
Originally Appeared In

Lower Automation's newest single is like old At The Drive-In on some seriously good crack.

Low automation, high riffs. 

Lower Automation's  sounds like a more dissonant, math-rock driven take on what At The Drive-In where doing on their seminal LP, 'Relationship Of Command'. And I'm more than okay with that, as I love this new song! (Even though this American noise-math/post-hardcore band are most likely dead tired of hearing the ATDI comparisons). The Chicago trio's new single, the crazed, riff-centric and lyrically anxious 'Tethered', is proof of this; hopefully shooting them atop any math-rock fans list of bands to keep watchful eye over.

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The trio have the kind of frenetic musical energy that The Blood Brothers once utilized so well; throwing the listener through a mix of madness and melody. On 'Tethered', the band further up the noise and math elements with busy-as-fuck rhythms and hectic guitar run and sharp chords a la The Fall Of Troy, as well as the melodic factor too with the inclusion of some damned colourful sounds pulled from their instruments. The prominent bass riffs groove hard throughout, the punchy drumming is dry and raw but propulsive, as chaotic guitars fire off left, right and center; all with the kind of modulated, phased-out guitars that channel Jim Ward's killer six-string performances on 'Cosmonaut' (especially in the outro from 2:25 onward.)

Lower Automation's Derek Allen spoke about the songwriting process of 'Tethered' and the theme that encapsulates their new self-produced EP to the folks over at New Noise Magazine recently, saying that:

"‘Tethered’ was started about two years ago when Brian came up with the opening riff. Everything else was gradually built from there. Lyrically, it’s inspired by any kind of relationship being impeded with distractions.

Most of the EP is inspired by interference in relationships and dealing with the anxiety it can cause. We recorded it ourselves and spent about 8 months practicing and nitpicking and making sure everything was just how we wanted it."

The proper follow-up to the band's 2016 EP, 'Maps' - 'Shoebox Companion' - will drop on July 27th and while 2017's 'The Pulpit Tumble' single saw the American group somewhat stray away into other influences, the band have reset their course in a reinvigorated fashion with this rabid new single. And I don't have much else to say about 'Tethered' other than this: FUCKIN' LISTEN TO IT!

Cut your own tether and float away with Lower Automation's latest experimental creation below: